Who's Afraid Of The Big Black Male?

Dark skinned man looking straight into camera
Dark skinned man looking straight into camera

America is sick and she's crying out for help. She is in desperate need of healing of an illness that has plagued her for far too long. I believe America's most notable ailments are greed, racism and fear; and they're all related. And they are all costing young black men their lives.

We have seen in the last 48 hours alone multiple incidents of young black males losing their lives at the hands of non-black police officers. Before we could all even come to terms with our feelings and emotions from the death of Alton Sterling in Baton Rouge, Louisiana on Wednesday, we wake up on Thursday to the news of another young black male, Philando Castile, being shot and killed by a police office in Falcon Heights, Minnesota the night before. I do not have words for my emotions right now. But I know that something has to be done, and as emotional as the symptoms of America's sickness are making me feel, I know that my part of the remedy cannot be an emotional one.

America's sickness is costing black males their lives at an alarming rate. According to data tracked by The Guardian, Castile makes the 136th black male killed by police in 2016 -and we just hit July. The most concerning part about the deaths of black males like Philando Castile, Alton Sterling, Mike Brown, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, and a list of many more, is that these deaths all could have been avoided had it not been for one of America's biggest sicknesses, the perception of black males in America and the fear that comes with it.

I know that many Americans may not want to hear this, but we as a nation are still dealing with the residue of unresolved trauma from slavery. I believe that the tragic loss of lives of young black men at the hands of law enforcement officers is the residual effect of a time of slavery that was clearly rooted in greed, which led to racism, and now breeds fear. This unresolved trauma has made America sick, and this sickness is having -- and will continue to have -- long-term detrimental effects on all of us; white, black, and brown.

America as a whole has been conditioned to believe that black males are dangerous, threatening and irresponsible predators with ill intentions. America has also been raised to believe that when you encounter a well-intentioned, well-educated, caring, responsible, and productive black male, that he is an exception to the rule. I have experienced this first hand throughout my life and continue to experience it every day.

This sickness that America is suffering from hurts us all. It hurts us socially and it hurts us economically. The family unit is the backbone and strength of America's culture and American values. When law enforcement officers allow their fears of black males to pull the trigger in an instant because they have bought into the stereotypes of the threatening black males, they are destroying families. They are destroying the social welfare of our entire society. These events result in the resentment of an entire generation of fatherless sons and daughters who want nothing more than to make someone pay for their loss. Too often authority figures can get so caught up in exercising "authority" that they neglect to acknowledge that their behavior is the source of the problem.

Fatherless children are much more likely to drop out of school, get involved in criminal behavior, or end up in jail. Unless that's part of the plan...

The potential values, behaviors and choices of a generation of fatherless, traumatized and disengaged men and women, however, is an issue for all of us, not just the families directly involved.

It hurts us all economically as well, because we are destroying a richly diverse talent pool of valuable sources and resources of creative, innovative and imaginative minds. African Americans have a well-established track record and history of contributing to popular American culture in ways that have greatly fueled the American economy. These contributions range from fashion, to technology, to music and to medicine. Not to mention the spending power that African Americans represent that greatly stimulate our economy. Removing black males from family units greatly decrease the ability for any of these dynamics to occur.

This is not just an issue with law enforcement and Black America. This sickness is widespread, and Law Enforcement is just one area that needs to be treated -- it needs to be treated fast. This sickness has infected our financial institutions, our law making process, our law enforcement institutions, our educational institutions, our media institutions, and even our faith based institutions.

To remedy this sickness we need to first acknowledge it. Then we can give America the healing she deserves and so desperately needs.

testPromoTitleReplace testPromoDekReplace Join HuffPost Today! No thanks.